Kenyan-based health tech startup Afya Rekod says it will launch its new AI and blockchain platform earlier than scheduled in order to help combat the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).
The announcement comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has precipitated uptake of technology around the world. For instance, doctors across the globe are using an AI diagnosis tool built by China for identifying coronavirus patients based on a chest scan.
The advanced system can sift through hundreds of images generated by computed tomography (CT) and can give a diagnosis in about 10 seconds.
The Afya Rekod platform, meanwhile, is designed to instantly capture patient health data and securely store it on the blockchain. This will allow people to access their healthcare information in real-time and seamlessly connect to healthcare service providers during a crisis.
“Afya Rekod is a medical data storage platform that allows patients to store their health records, the medication they take as well as keep journals of their statuses and that of their kids and families,” said Jonh Kamara, who is the CEO and founder of Afya Rekod.
“The platform is AI driven and uses various AI modules to help detect abnormalities, detect early outbreaks and monitor mobility and evolution of diseases via timely data analytics.”
Access to healthcare services is a huge challenge to a majority of populations (more than 65%) in Africa. This is mainly because of a shortage of doctors and nurses and also due to a lack of real-time patient data. On top of this, African countries use centralised health management systems that solely rely on people walking into a healthcare facility, and these are not sufficient as the coronavirus outbreak has proved.
Kamara explained that his company is trying to solve this problem by building a decentralised healthcare record system that enable people to update their health records “anytime, anywhere and in multiformats”. The system can also address some of the inefficiencies that have been witnessed in the response of Covid-19.
“We are fast tracking to launch the platform 4 months ahead of its time to enable the world to capture real time data that will hit map areas where the Corona infections are growing and monitor the growth in real time by collecting user generated information from millions of users across multiple geographic locations to allow for sufficient data analysis in support of the global efforts to curb the disease,” Kamara said.
At a time when the World Health Organization (WHO) and governments are urging citizens to isolate and stay at home, Afya Rekod sees this as an opportunity to join efforts to tackle the disease. It is currently in discussions with various governments’ entities and developing partners to explore how their efforts can be accelerated urgently for Covid-19.
Afya Rekod will launch in July 2020, four months earlier than the original launch date.
Follow Ledger Africa on Twitter.